The Lab Notebook
Laboratory notebooks are an integral part of scientific research. They serve as permanent records of actual
experimental work. Thus, it is critical that they are both accurate and truthful. In this course, you will implement some
of the procedures used by chemists to safeguard against false or inaccurate records.
Your lab notebook should be a composition book used only for lab experiments. Write your name and class
period neatly on the front cover, save the first three pages for a Table of Contents, and number both sides of
pages in the upper outside corner.
Make sure your name, date, and title are included at the top of the first page of each lab write-up in the lab
In your lab notebook, write neatly using only black or blue ink. If you make an error, draw a single line
through the mistake. DO NOT SCRIBBLE OUT ERRORS OR USE WHITE OUT.
Data Tables should be completed in blue or black pen or electronically created. They should be neat, clearly
titled and labeled.
Start each lab on a new page and record the title and page number in the Table of Contents.
TITLE OF EXPERIMENT NAME & DATE
PURPOSE: In one or two sentences, describe the purpose of the experiment in your own words.
HYPOTHESIS: States a hypothesis that is testable and sound reasoning.
PRE-LAB QUESTIONS: Answer pre-lab questions here. Write all questions and show all work
associated with calculations.
MATERIALS: A list of the supplies and chemicals which will be needed to perform the lab.
PROCEDURE: For inquiry labs, you will design your own procedure. You are required to prepare a
written summarization of the procedures in your notebook before you come to class (number each
step). You must use the directions in your notebook to perform the experiment.
DATA/OBSERVATIONS: Items in this section should be recorded in chronological order while you are
conducting the lab and should include...
quantitative measurements such as mass, volume, temperature, etc.
qualitative observations such as changes in color, appearance of bubbles, etc.
neat and clearly labeled data – USE A RULER TO DRAW DATA TABLES
use a data table whenever possible
SAMPLE CALCULATIONS: In this section, you will analyze your experimental data.
Show all of your work whenever calculations are necessary. Always label each calculation and
include units. For example:
The results of all calculations should be summarized in a Results Table including labels and
units for each value.
QUESTIONS: The data and observations are analyzed accurately, trends are noted, enough data was
taken to establish conclusion.
CONCLUSIONS: In this section, you should summarize your findings and/or answer questions as
instructed. Results and data are reported in this section, supporting your hypothesis. Write clearly and
concisely using complete sentences. Be specific. Avoid using vague pronouns that force the reader to
guess what you’re describing. Always use third person (NO personal pronouns --- me, I, you, we, etc.)
when writing all parts of a lab. (USE HE, SHE, THEY, THEIR, THEM, ETC.) Hypothesis is rejected or
accepted based on the data. This is the most important part of the report. It’s where you tie
everything together and show me what you know.
Chemistry Lab Rubric
Lab Report Rubric – All laboratory investigations will use the following rubrics for grading.
(5 pts) (3 pts) (2 pts) (1 pt) (0)
Name, Date, Lab Partner
Writes a statement of the purpose of the lab. One of the Two of the Three of the
States a hypothesis that is based on research "excellent" "excellent" "excellent"
and/or sound reasoning conditions is not conditions is not conditions is not
Title is relevant. met met met
Hypothesis (prediction) is testable.
A description or
step-by-step list of
Procedure unclear, couldn't
how the experiment
Graphs and tables are present
Results are unclear, present, though
Labeled correctly Results are clear
Observations / missing labels, too disorganized
Results and data are clearly recorded, organized and labeled, trends
Results (data) trends are not or poorly
so it is easy for the reader to see trends. are not obvious,
obvious at all recorded to make
Written description present
Analysis somewhat Analysis lacking in
lacking in insight, insight, not enough Analysis poor, not
All questions have been answered completely
Analysis / enough data, data was gathered enough data,
Questions though additional to establish trends, inaccurate
Questions and answers are written
data would be more OR analysis does not analysis
powerful follow data
Lab reports must contain at least one sample
calculation of each type you are required to do.
You should have the general formula used in
One of the Two of the Three of the
Sample "excellent" "excellent" "excellent"
You should have the formula with the correct
Calculation conditions is not conditions is not conditions is not
numbers & units included.
met met met
Your answer should include the correct units
and the correct number of significant figures.
If there are no sample calculations write NONE
Summarizes the essential data used to draw
Conclusions follow data (not wild guesses or One of the Two of the Three of the
leaps of logic), "excellent" "excellent" "excellent"
Discusses applications of experiment ("real conditions is not conditions is not conditions is not
world" connections) met met met
Hypothesis is restated and rejected or accepted
based on the data.
Neat, organized lacking in
with headings, few organization,
errors, not neat